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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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decisively less productive within this large triangle because of the lack of rainfall and of water for irrigation. It would be hard to overstate the challenge of discovering policy approaches to cope with this problem that would stand the dual tests of economic efficiency and of welfare and that would be manageable in planning the development of India.
Modernization is increasing the economic value of educating the farm labor force, especially farmers. The new opportunities and the adjustments in production that modernization entails increase the demand for skills (36, 37, 56). The changes in the demand for farm labor derived from the process of modernization are in general of two parts. First, in the short run, the demand for farm labor increases in the farming areas that are best situated to take advantage of modern agricultural inputs. Second, in the longer run, as more complete modernization takes place, the demand for farm labor declines—at first, relatively, and later on, even absolutely—to the total demand for labor in a growing economy.
An Interpretation Restricted to Wheat and Rice
Wheat and rice are the two principal food grains. They are superior grains in terms of many desired properties. In calories alone, a pound of wheat contains 1,497 and a pound of rough rice, 1,356 calories (57). The production, consumption, and marketing of wheat and rice—and competition between the two—affords still another partial view of the dynamics of the world food supply. Looking toward the next decade, the following inferences emerge (58).
1.  Except for P. L. 480 wheat and other concessional supplies, the substitution of imported wheat for domestic rice in the heartland of the monsoon areas is not a significant factor, except for Japan and some of the larger coastal cities at the fringe of these areas. Nor are these areas likely to import additional quantities of wheat either to substitute for domestically grown wheat or to supplement it, except in the case of Japan and in areas serving some coastal cities—bad crop years aside.
2.  The price of wheat per ton has declined markedly relative to that of rice, with wheat selling at substantially less than half of the price of rice in international markets. This large difference in the prices is decreasing somewhat, but wheat will continue to sell for a good deal less than rice in these markets.
3.  The cereal production opportunities in Asian agriculture have improved measurably in recent years (29, 54); the reductions in real cost from this development are likely to occur somewhat more rapidly in producing wheat than in producing rice, e.g., in India and Pakistan; therefore, within these countries some domestically produced wheat will be substituted for rice by consumers (43, 54). (48) and from correspondence with Sterling Wortman of the Rockefeller Foundation.